No we’re not on a mini-Spoek Mathambo marathon today. Intrigued by Spoek’s remix of Seun Kuti and the trailer for his new album, we googled Spoek anew and stumbled upon this video of a 2011 presentation Spoek gave at TedxSoweto (it was only uploaded onto Youtube at the end of last month). What I find useful about the video is that it offers a compact picture of Spoek’s biography: from Soweto via the “suburban island” of Sandton to where he finds himself now as a sort of global electro-rapper. It’s worth the 20 odd minutes if you want to get a sense of his influences. He talks about his record collections, his dad’s record collections, local and international musical influences (including Max Normal/Waddy Jones of Die Antwoord fame), South Africa’s HIV culture of fear, cultures of kwaito and party, Ghanaian and Nigerian film posters (where he referenced his last album cover), the inspiration of Nigerian DIY (horror) movie culture, making Africa a smaller place through new media, the crucial point of representation (“the more that we don’t represent ourselves, the more people will make careers out of misrepresenting us or representing us the way they want to represent us”) and his collaboration with fellow South African, photographer Pieter Hugo (and Hugo’s critics). Hugo’s work is contrasted with that of American photographer Phyllis Galembo on West African masquerades and South African artist Michael MacGarry. He also gives his interpretation of ‘Umshini Wami’, and his fundamentals: “How am I representing myself? How am I representing the people of Africa? And is accuracy [when building a ‘speculative fiction’ through his work] important?”
I had told many half-truths before, but those little lies were cute compared to this, the first time I told a big lie.
The Jacob Zuma years were especially damaging for re-introducing South Africans to political leaders who did not fear shame.
Today marks ten years since Aimé Césaire’s death. What would he have thought about the state of the former French colonies today?
Engaging seriously with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s life could help us understand how South Africa got where it is and where it’s going.
The Sauti za Busara festival in Zanzibar aims to show that music is much more than a collection of tunes.
The murder of Abu Asvat has clouded Winnie Mandela’s legacy. Their deep friendship symbolized what could have been in the struggle for freedom.
Striving to be both European and black requires some specific forms of double consciousness — Paul Gilroy in The Black Atlantic.
What use are academic categories when they reinforce conservative concepts scholars seek to challenge?
Does Julius Malema’s EFF in South Africa do better by its local party machinery–especially its women officials–than the ANC
Uber’s usual tricks — to provoke price wars in an attempt to increase their share of markets, evade taxes, and undermine workers’ rights — are alive and well in Africa.
How black women shaped black nationalist and internationalist movements in the twentieth century US.
Land reform dominates public debate in South Africa. But it comes with a lack of data and a clear policy.
It is key that peacemaking in the CAR prioritize inclusion of minorities, especially Muslim and Peuhl Central Africans.
New York’s Caribbean Cultural Center and African Diaspora Institute seeks to “document and present the creative genius of African Diaspora cultures.”
When rain falls on a leopard, it does not wash off his spots. The same can’t be said of Kenya’s media and the opposition after Uhuru Kenyatta’s crackdown.
Social media group-think derails any chance for a progressive political movement.
30 years ago, free speech advocates were more willing to tolerate far-right voices than oppose them. It’s now happening again.
Is the US military on its way to Ghana to set up base? What do Ghanaians think.
Living in the city that hosted the 1884 conference where Western powers divided up Africa for themselves